Because so many baseball fans love to play GM every offseason, we here at Halos Heaven decided to get in on the action. You may have seen Jessica DeLine’s post a couple of days ago. That was the first part of a series in which each member of the HH staff outlines his or her ideal offseason.
The basic guidelines for the series are as follows. For the luxury tax payroll, we are using the number calculated by Cot’s Contracts, which is about $142.3 million for next season.
The luxury tax threshold, which owner Arte Moreno has indicated as the spending limit in years past, is $197 million for 2018, leaving us with almost $55 million to play with. We then knocked that number down to $45 million to ensure that there is enough payroll flexibility to make mid-season acquisitions possible.
As for our proposed offseason moves, we are using MLB Trade Rumors’ free-agent predictions and FanGraphs’ crowdsourced contract estimates as baselines for any free-agent signings.
For trades, we vowed to keep them as realistic as possible. A common tactic among baseball fans on the internet is simply suggesting that their team trade a bunch of players they don’t like in exchange for some they do. That’s not how trades actually work, so that’s off limits.
And lastly, if we are acquiring an arbitration-eligible player, we are using MLB TR’s arbitration projections to calculate the player’s effect on the payroll, as the final arbitration numbers are not yet in.